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Netherlands, Faroe Islands added to COVID-19 ‘red list’

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Netherlands, Faroe Islands added to COVID-19 �red list�
This undated image shows travelers walking in an airport.
Pixabay / Skitterphoto

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has placed Faroe Islands and the Netherlands on its COVID-19 “red list” and, as such, travelers from these two areas, except for returning Filipinos, are prohibited from entering the country from Nov. 16 to 30.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. made the announcement yesterday based on the updated list provided by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).Roque said the IATF also updated its “green list,” which now includes American Samoa, Bhutan, Chad, China (mainland), Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Falkland The Department of Tourism (DOT) is still hoping to reduce, or even scrap, quarantine requirements for foreign tourists in order to revive the country’s tourism industry impaired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT continues to push for less stringent quarantine protocols – even the removal of facility-based quarantine – for foreigners from countries that have moderate to low risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“The DOT has been pushing for ‘green lanes,’ especially for reduced quarantine days, and if possible no quarantine days, for the fully vaccinated,” Puyat said.

She noted that the government has mandated that there is no longer a quarantine period for fully vaccinated foreigners coming from green listed countries or those at low risk of COVID-19 spread.

Puyat also said that high COVID-19 vaccination rates in Metro Manila could be crucial in determining whether quarantine for foreign travelers, including overseas Filipinos, should stay or go.MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has placed Faroe Islands and the Netherlands on its COVID-19 “red list” and, as such, travelers from these two areas, except for returning Filipinos, are prohibited from entering the country from Nov. 16 to 30.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. made the announcement yesterday based on the updated list provided by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Roque said the IATF also updated its “green list,” which now includes American Samoa, Bhutan, Chad, China (mainland), Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Federated States of Micronesia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Montserrat, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Northern Mariana Islands, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Saint Eustatius, South Africa, Sudan, Taiwan, Togo, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Fully vaccinated travelers from these green listed territories are not required to undergo facility-based quarantine upon arriving in the Philippines, provided they present negative RT-PCR test results.

Roque said all other countries, territories and jurisdictions not included in the green and red lists are under the yellow list.

Fully vaccinated individuals from yellow list countries need to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day from their arrival. They shall then be required to undergo home quarantine until their 10th day in the country.

Roque also announced that the IATF approved the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the national COVID-19 vaccination certificates of Australia, Czech Republic, Georgia, India, Japan, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Turkey and Samoa to be accepted or recognized for purposes of arrival quarantine protocols, as well as for interzonal/intrazonal movement.

DOT seeks no quarantine

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is still hoping to reduce, or even scrap, quarantine requirements for foreign tourists in order to revive the country’s tourism industry impaired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT continues to push for less stringent quarantine protocols – even the removal of facility-based quarantine – for foreigners from countries that have moderate to low risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“The DOT has been pushing for ‘green lanes,’ especially for reduced quarantine days, and if possible no quarantine days, for the fully vaccinated,” Puyat said.

She noted that the government has mandated that there is no longer a quarantine period for fully vaccinated foreigners coming from green listed countries or those at low risk of COVID-19 spread.

Puyat also said that high COVID-19 vaccination rates in Metro Manila could be crucial in determining whether quarantine for foreign travelers, including overseas Filipinos, should stay or go.

“In the NCR, we have already (fully) vaccinated 88 percent, and for first dose it’s 97 percent,” she said, referring to the National Capital Region or Metro Manila.

She said Metro Manila’s exceeding its target for herd immunity could be a “big boost in reducing quarantine days and possibly no quarantine even for those from yellow (list) countries,” or those with moderate COVID-19 transmission risk and would still have to undergo up to 10 days of quarantine.

Evacuate Ethiopia

?In another development Thursday night, the DFA advised Filipinos in Ethiopia to prepare for mandatory evacuation after it raised Alert Level 4 in the African nation due to continued and intensifying conflict.

The DFA raises an Alert Level 4 in a country when there is large-scale internal conflict or full-blown external attack, prompting government to begin mandatory evacuation procedures.

“The DFA is advising all Filipinos not to travel to Ethiopia at this time due to ongoing conflict in Tigray and other neighboring regions,” its official statement read.

“Filipinos who are in the country where Alert Level 4 is in effect are advised to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places and immediately prepare for evacuation,” it added. – Janvic Mateo

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